I would recommend this book to anyone without hesitation but some caution must be exuded when initially reading this book as the author does make many claims that come off as rather unfounded, and at worst elitist. Having said that I agreed with much of what the late Ellen Cannon Reed wrote about in 'The Heart of Wicca' in terms of preserving Wicca as an initiatory path. As far as I'm concerned everyone studying Wicca should read this book whether or not they emerge from the book having disagreed with much of it. Reed wrote with much passion and concern for the preservation of her path and it can come off as pompous to the reader; yet I find the devotion she had for her religion to be inspiring and rather refreshing given some other authors I have read.
If you find yourself nodding away to this book as you read then quite possibly you will come away having bared witness to another fork in the road in terms of your spiritual path. Perhaps,you will then feel enthusiastic enough to reassess your path; I know I did, albeit for unusual reasons. My further contemplation of my spiritual journey was not born out of that which I agreed with in this book, but rather what I did not. Reed presents in this book a very basic guide to 'her' Wicca and it was not for me.
Equally, Reed said many things in the 'Heart of Wicca' that I felt were questionable and verging on the old somewhat fundy 'my way is the only true way'. You will have to decide for yourself what you agree or disagree with but I cannot tout this book enough -- in fact when you are done reading it pass it along to someone else who would find the content, good or bad, of interest. I completely agreed with her on seeing gods as separate enities (hard polytheism) rather than some aspects of one god or one goddess which is that very fluffy bunny neo-pagan idea -- an idea which lets face it, seems simple, but actually makes no reasonable sense when one thinks about it. If all gods are one god then what the heck is up with all the mythology in the world? This god must be very bi-polar... with a serious case of mutiple personality disorder! It's basically a rubbish piece of theology thought up by Dion Fortune (not one of her best contributions to occult traditions).
I disagreed with her views on The Rede (I'm one of those people she complains about who sees the Rede as a far too narrow concept to live by) and the Three Fold Law (which I think is rubbish and contradicts basic science). So as I said in the title, it's a controversial but significant piece that is not a Wicca handbook as such, but gives one an insight into a more formal coven based system. For me it opened my eyes a great deal and precipitated a small spiritual epiphany of sorts where I realised that a freer more Traditional form of Witchcraft (like that of Cochrane) was more for me, Wicca has really nothing left to offer me. For that I thank her! This book helped me to find my true path by showing me something I would never be comfortable with.